Corticosteroid-binding globulin: A possible early predictor of infection in acute necrotizing pancreatitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective. Infected pancreatic necrosis is the main cause of death in patients with acute pancreatitis, and therefore its early prediction is of utmost importance. Endogenous cortisol metabolism plays a basic role both in the course of acute pancreatitis and in the process of infection. The purpose of this study was to analyze corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG), total cortisol, calculated free cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone as potential early predictors in order to differentiate between infected pancreatic necrosis and sterile pancreatic necrosis in patients with acute pancreatitis. Material and methods. Serum levels of CBG, total cortisol, calculated free cortisol, and plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone were determined in 109 consecutive patients with acute pancreatitis. C-reactive protein was measured as the control parameter. Thirty-five patients developed necrotizing pancreatitis and 10 developed infection of the necrosis. Blood was monitored for 6 days after the onset of pain; 30 healthy individuals served as controls. Results. Of all parameters only CBG showed a significant difference ( p = 0.0318) in its peak levels measured in the first 48 h in patients with sterile (26.5 mu g/ml, range 21.3-34.7) and infected (16.0 mu g/ml, range 15.2-25.0) necrosis at a cut-off level of 16.8 mu g/ml. That difference was further preserved for the first 6 days after onset of pain. Conclusions. In our group of patients, a decreased CBG level below 16.8 g/ml within the initial 48 h of acute pancreatitis was an early predictor of later infected pancreatic necrosis, with a positive predictive value of 100% and a negative predictive value of 87.5%.


  • Christophe A. Muller
  • Orlin Belyaev
  • Michael Vogeser
  • Dirk Weyhe
  • Beat Gloor
  • Oliver Strobel
  • Jens Werner
  • Anders Borgström
  • Markus W. Buchler
  • Waldemar Uhl
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology


  • acute necrotizing pancreatitis, corticosteroid-binding globulin, predictors of infection
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1354-1361
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch